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Old June 26, 2012, 06:58 PM   #1
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Home Security Help

Wise TLFers I have a question regarding home security. I am considering a DIY system for my home. I don't need lazers and death rays however I would like something to make a ton of noise.

We have recently moved to a large place in the country . However in my old place I could literally hear anything from any part of the small little three bedroom ski house.

Now it becomes apparent to me that there is no way I'm hearing anything from one end of this place to the other. Therefore I am thinking of a DIY home security solution.

Obviously lock upgrades and door braces are already underway or already in place. Every window has a lock and many have stoppers that only allow the window to open a few inches or so.

I already have outdoor motion lights installed and a retriever who has quite the mouth on her when needed.

I am tempted to purchase a wireless DIY system and simply hook it up to an auto dialer with 911 and a few other select numbers. Anyone have any experience with these systems or wisdom to share.

Regards, Vermonter
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Old June 26, 2012, 07:33 PM   #2
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You're going to get a lot of other suggestions but a flock of geese will not only announce visitors, they serve and protect and have been know to attack trespassers.
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Old June 26, 2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Want noise made? Considered one of these?

Geese can make noise and they will attack but you can train a dog to not poop on every thing. Geese, not so much...
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
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Old June 26, 2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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First, I don't work for an 'alarm company'. I have not done install work for alarm systems. But I have worked for a number of years responding to alarms and monitoring the systems.

If you decide to go that route...

Door contacts and window contacts are a plus. Motion sensors are useful only in certain situations. Put motion sensors in places where people/pets don't go after 'lights out'. You've got a dog, if the dog has free access at night to the kitchen, living rooms and bedrooms then don't put a motion detector there. You don't want to put one in the kitchen when you have a habit of getting warm milk in the middle of the night. Basement, garage or any areas puppy doesn't have access to, Yes.

Alarm companies can suspend service due to too many false alarms. Police can also 'suspend' response for alarms unless there is confirmation of activity.

Every alarm point beyond the package they sell you might cost extra. Maintenance could be an issue, but sure to get a good maintenance/service agreement or it will get expensive to keep having the techs come out.

The expense, just be ready for the expense if you can afford it, by all means they are worth it. Heck, just having alarm companies place signs in your yard can be enough to keep nosy people out.

Don't tell your kids the code. They'll share with friends or learn the system better than you do, and disable a certain bedroom window.

I find my large lab mix does a pretty good job letting me know when he hears something not right.

I do agree with Mike. Geese make great guardians.
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Old June 26, 2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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The OP says he already has a dog. So apparently he'd also like something electronic he can set up on his own.

If anyone knows about such things and has some information that might be useful to the OP, please contribute. If not, please don't clutter up this thread.
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Old June 26, 2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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I have a nasty habit of shooting geese. As frank said I am looking for diy solutions. I know through my profession that VSP has many non response alarms. I am thinking about something to alert me and possibly the police.
Regards, Vermonter
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Old June 26, 2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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The only thing I can contribute is possibly installing cameras around your property such as entrances, doors, fences, and front gate. You can install the main TV monitor(s) in your bedroom to see any activity happening outside from the safety of the your room. this can be done as an easy DIY project if you do some research, and i'm sure they already have them set up as packages if you shop around.
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Old June 26, 2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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First make sure the local Police will even respond to an auto-dialer many do not and require the system to be monitored.

I would recommend getting a quote from an alarm company for a basic monitored system before you proceed with a DYI system. You might find that a professional turnkey system may be a better deal in the long run.

Make sure that whatever system you settle on can be expanded later in case you notice a “gap” in your coverage.

Be sure your system has a very loud interior siren which can be very disorienting for the burglars.

Another thing to consider is adding fire detection to your system.

Also, recently I had a cellular dialer installed on my system eliminating the concern of bad guys snipping the phone line.
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Old June 26, 2012, 11:11 PM   #9
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Think about what the bad-guy wants and work backwards from there.

Bad-guys wants:

They want to enter easily
They want to enter quickly
They want to enter without much noise
If cant enter quickly, they want to work unseen or obscured from passerbys.
They want to use doors rather than windows
They want a place to stage a vehicle that doesnt look out of place
They want to enter and exit property unseen if possible (woods/backdoor)

Take a look at your landscape.. bushes, trees, lay of the land. Look at your house from the road or how others see it. Make a effort to open up a clear view so that neighbors or passerbys could notice something odd.

Harden doors and add exrta storm or glass door.
get a dog
get camera or dummy camera
add lights
get timers for lights
storm windows

make it look like people are around or make it difficult to tell one way or the other. I like garage radio on timer... and a extra vehicle around when I am gone. Put several pair of muddy boots on the porch ( big size 15)

its all about making them want to go somewhere else.. its just a mind game.
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Old June 27, 2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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Go to and look at the X 10 and other systems.
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Old June 27, 2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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My experience with "monitored services" has been less than satisfactory. Specifically, my brother in law had a system installed by ADT. The system included fire and intrusion. He was died in a fire when his home burned. The only response ADT made was when they contacted me, I was his emergency contact, when he had not paid his bill for three months.

Harbor freight has some reasonably priced wireless Video systems. Their quality is somewhat iffy. When you find a set up that works they will run for several years. I went through three systems until I got one that works. It has been operational for three years.

Simple noise makers such as an empty soft drink can with 13 pennies inside with the hole taped over is effective. Simply place them in a position were the intruder will knock them over. They are also effective in training your dog not to get up on the counters.

CAUTION: Any bars or strong closer devices must be easily removable by the occupants otherwise dieting in a fire is a real possibility. Murphy's laws of ware are applicable.

If the enemy can't get in you can't get out.

Big dogs, unless trained, are intimidating but easily dispatched by a competent intruder. Small yappy dust mop ankle biters (small terrier breeds) are excellent targeting systems. They yip and run and bite at the intruder. The intruder cannot reach them as they retreat under and around obstacles and furniture.

Good luck on you project.
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Old June 28, 2012, 12:42 PM   #12
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Google is your friend here. Wireless Home Security Systems. Lots of places to purchase. Look at the one's that have Star ratings and read them. Some offer motion detectors with "Pet Alley's" in them. That means they do not see an area below 3-4 feet off the floor. Some of the places offer monitoring for as little as 9.95 per month. I did not see one that offered Cellular monitoring although there may be one out there. Me, I have a monitored system that uses internet and cellular monitoring paths. Loud interior sirens and re-enforced doors. You should have doors that have deadbolts on both sides of them. This way however they got in they will go back out, usually not the re-enforced door. Yes I did work for a Security Company back in the 1980's. My house is wired with every window and door monitored and 3 Dual Technology Motions. Dual Technology is Radar plus Infrared. This means that heat moving across a detector will not set it off unless there is something for the radar to detect.
Good Luck with your system.
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Old June 28, 2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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There are all kinds of cheap camera systems on line. Get one with a DVR that does remote monitoring and you can monitor on line. You can store your feed on line so that even if someone steals your whole house you can retrieve it from the internet.

Camera motion sensors are poor in general. Something close to the camera (like a moth) will set it off.

You will need to do some analysis of your house to determine how many cameras you need to cover all entry points. Don't forget that with an outdoor camera you can conceal the camera and point the camera at the house to cover multiple entries.
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Old June 28, 2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Ok local pd will respond to auto dialers I asked thanks for the tip. VSP covers my local area and they will respond.

Response time is on The slower side of the national average. therefore I am concerned about noise as well. ADT is my only local option and I read terrible reviews about them. Cameras seem like overkill. I am looking for any info on specific brands etc.
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Old June 28, 2012, 10:16 PM   #15
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Again, X 10 wireless.
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Old June 29, 2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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x10 Wireless

From what I can see they mostly do camera systems. I did find

That is either the deal of the century or too good to be true depending on who you ask.

What type of x10 system do you have model # etc?
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:48 PM   #17
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My Brother has installed a system he got at Radio shack in his home. The system is not monitored, but I think it could be if he wanted to set it up.

Another thing to keep in mind if you do go with a monitored system is to try and avoid signing a monitoring contract. The company that I use simply charges me a month to month rate and I can drop it at any time. Some companies offer slightly lower rates, but try to lock you in for several years of monitoring.
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Old June 30, 2012, 10:21 AM   #18
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Yu thinking great right now,

consider the motion detectors to silhouette your perimeter and NOT illuminate you. Set the sensors to activate above a Lab / Shepard body, this will mean illumination on the various deer around.

What type drive into your place? Can you run a motion detector to announce passage incoming??

Good luck.
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Old June 30, 2012, 10:52 AM   #19
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Go to Amazon or and check out the cellular auto-dialer systems there. I have their big system, it works just fine, and the sheriff responds to calls, no monitoring service needed.

I have not hooked up the motion detectors, just the door/window alarms, the sirens, and the dialing apparatus. I might hook up a couple of cameras later on, but I'm thinking that's not necessary.

You need to plan on spending at least $300 for a simple system. Each and every window and door needs monitored, including outbuildings, and it needs to be cellular to avoid the failure of the system when your phone line is cut. You need to be able to arm/disarm the house by Zones, an important feature.
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Old July 1, 2012, 04:03 AM   #20
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Look at the wireless alarm systems.
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Old July 1, 2012, 05:21 AM   #21
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brinks or broadview(same people)...might have merged with ADT

I don't know of anyone else's reviews but I like them a lot and have never had a problem in 3+yrs

they give deals and then when the contract ends you can pay month to month or do another contract where they will give you stuff for free for doing that. I have a bunch of windows done(everyone in basement, everyone for kids' rooms and/or where a roof could go to window, etc, etc. we have every door going outside and a motion sensor inside. so at night noone is coming up those stairs without the alarm going off period. nobody is entering the garage and messing around without us knowing it. you can easily set it where there is a delay for you to enter code but also that the alarm goes off immediately if you so choose(I just enter the code via the sixty second delay or whatever when coming home but you can slo even use the keychain thingee like my wife does if she is upstairs getting ready to go downstairs/////you can have cust service do all this stuff it is idiot proof, like whether you want 30sec delay, 60seconds etc,...they have defaults too for more urgent stuff like if it is motion sensor). if it goes off you can still enter code and then cancel button to avoid call. police come if you dont answer phone(in my case they call cellphone first too).

bottom line nothing is fullproof but if that phone rings at night I know I have a home that has been ifs or buts about it. that is worth it in my book. not only that they tell you immediately the access point: basement window, sidedoor, motion sensor inside, etc. while your home you can activate alarm during day and just press motion senor off so that doesn't go off. it helps with kids too since my one yr old and three yr old can be unpredictable...neevr happened but what if they went outside past the doorkno child protectors...i dont want to get shot by my wife..........its like a cellphone, once you get one you don't go back. if something happens I'll have the firearm at the ready. I have never had a false alarm but you can test it too...when you come home you can neglect to enter code in keypad after opening the door. sure enough they call and ask for master password...without that they send police
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